Black Teen Girls Lead Peers In Quitting Smoking

Black Teen Girls Lead Peers In Quitting Smoking
Claudio E. Cabrera, NewsOne, July 13, 2010

A new study released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention highlights how teenage Black girls are leading the way in smoking cessation.

The study, which was published earlier this month, focuses on the overall decline in teen smoking since 1991. But since 2003, amongst different ethnic and racial groups of both genders, African-American teenage girls are the only group to see their usage decline.

According to the study, the percentage of students who said they currently smoke cigarettes has dropped 17 percent since 1997 (36.4 to 19.5). The percentage of students experimenting with cigarettes also dropped sharply from 70 percent to 46.3 percent in the last 20 years. While other groups have either increased or stayed at the same levels, young African-American teenage girls have been steadily declining usage since the year 2000. (Click here to read the study)

Plantations, Power and Professional Athletes

There is so much wrong with this entire LeBron James fiasco it would take a year to flesh it all out, by which time LeBron may have his first ring (courtesy of Dwyane Wade and the backup dancers down in South Beach). Reactions have been varied, as expected. This decision will affect the NBA game and business. The most interesting conversation to come from this ordeal surrounds Jesse Jackson’s comments which allude to the Plantation Model in sports. All I can say to this is amen.

Wal-mart: Evil Empire or Hope for Unemployment

I don’t trust big business.  I don’t trust any type of organization that would make profit a priority over people. I don’t trust Wal-mart. But…is a bad job better than no job? This is the question I posed to a group of students today when discussing whether Wal-Mart should be allowed to enter into the city of Chicago.

Every issue I learn about reminds me how important it is to see the world with a nuanced lens. While initially I would argue HELL NO, Wal-Mart only destroys communities and hinders small businesses; I now understand that it is more complicated than just another big business out to make a bottom line profit.

Blacks and Latinos Phoning Across the Digital Divide

Black Youth in the News is an archive of articles written about young black people in major U.S. newspapers. Check out our feature article or browse all of the stories that we have sorted by week.

Today’s Feature Article

Blacks and Latinos Phoning Across the Digital Divide
Jamilah King, Colorlines, July 9, 2010

A new study by the Pew Research Center found that that Blacks and Latinos are among the biggest users of mobile web technology, and that low-income communities are among its fastest adopters. It’s nothing we haven’t already heard, of course.

But what makes this week’s news especially relevant is that it comes on the heels of heightened debates in the FCC and Congress and between telecom companies and activists around whether and how to regulate web service providers. People of color have been caught in the middle of that debate, as telecom argues that more regulation will force them to raise costs. The FCC has identified cost as the primary barrier to getting more people of color access to high speed service. Depending on your perspective, the rapidly growing number of mobile web users either signals that people of color are finding their way around the broadband divide or proves just how wide it is. (Read the full article)

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Teenagers are Invincible…?

Underage drinking (and binge drinking) is no foreign concept to American high schools. Numerous  people I know and go to school with have bad experiences with alcohol. Some kids have blacked out and others have had their stomachs pumped after alcohol poisoning. And I just finished my sophomore year in high school. Despite everything that goes on at my school, depite the almosts, I was still surprised and a little bit scared when I read about Miguel Perrault’s death. It happened this past Saturday night, Miguel’s 15th birthday, after he drank an entire fifth of vodka.

American teenagers don’t drink with meals or because they like it. They drink to get drunk. So most teen experiences with alcohol in this country are of bingeing. Every year there are somewhere around 5,000 alcohol related deaths of people under 21 in the United States. And even though after every weekend I hear contributions to the underage drinking statistics, the real dangers behind every party seem unreal or irrelevant and teens like me are still shocked to hear about Miguel Perrault. I guess a feeling of invinciblilty is something pretty common amongst teens. And I think its safe to assume the 5,000 underage drinkers who’ll die this year because of alcohol won’t think it’ll happen to them.

Slaves and Subway Slaughters

As much as things change, they stay the same. No matter how many anti-diarrheal pills new wave Black leaders try to give Rev. Jesse Jackson, he will continue to just let it flow. Although I haven’t agreed with many things that he has said recently I respect the fact that he has focused less on castrating Presidents and focused more on fighting the plantation mentality in sports. Although many people are claiming that Reverend Jackson hyperbolized the situation, I believe that behind every exaggerated metaphor is some grain of truth. Look (in my best Obama voice), Lebron James is a mega star, with a fat bank account (barring any Pac Man Jones incidents) and has more endorsements than I have shoes. Yet, even with this, he, like most professional athletes perform in highly regulated industries. David Stern basically outlawed Sean John, Rocawear, Ecko, and Timbaland boots with a stroke of a pen. Allen Iverson had to buy a whole new wardrobe! While these measures may still seem minor, they do show that professional athletes are under constant surveillance on and off the field.

Back to Kunta Kinte Lebron James. When Dan Gilbert, the Cleveland Cavaliers owner, issued a polemic directed at Lebron, it seemed a little overboard. Yes, Lebron brought a lot of money to Cleveland businesses. Yes, Lebron brought excitement to his fans night in and night out on the court. Yes, he gave many Clevelanders something to be proud of. But even all those yeses didn’t make Lebron obligated to stay. As much as we forget, Lebron James is a person not a product. He is a gifted athlete who has the right to pick up and take his talents elsewhere if he pleases.  If his career goes downhill the next few seasons from now Gilbert will probably gloat about his wise business decision.  Lebron might not be a runaway slave and Gilbert might not be a disgruntled master, but Jesse Jackson was not completely off base.

NAACP wants to pass torch to a new generation

NAACP wants to pass torch to a new generation
Rick Montgomery and Glenn E. Rice, The Kansas City Star | July 11, 2010

Social media, they had down. Social justice, that was another matter.

For 29 high school students of all backgrounds who gathered last month at a leadership camp addressing “social justice issues,” the phrase meant different things to different youth. To most, it meant nothing at all.

Equal opportunity, they understood. Dissent, they shared with Facebook friends.

But civil rights? Dominating that discussion were their views on sexual orientation, illegal immigration and the rich versus the rest — not race.

“Early on you heard, ‘Racism doesn’t affect me,’ ” said Andrea Pantoja, who coordinated the weeklong Youth Leadership Institute for Kansas City Harmony, dedicated to improving race relations.

The NAACP, trying mightily to win over the young, appears to be facing yet another struggle. (Read the full article)

The King Wants Rings

Sometimes, I make myself sick.  I waited for the LeBron James ESPN special, “The Decision,” like it was a Michael Jackson music video premiere.  (Remember the time?)  I sat in front of the television and waited for LBJ to moonwalk, spin, grab his crotch, and scream “Shamon,” at Jim Gray.  But, alas, that never happened.  Instead, LBJ broke northeast Ohio’s heart, and told the viewing public that he planned to take his talents to [W]ade County, Florida, thereby turning the Miami Heat into some kind of NBA version of the United States circa the middle of the 20th century: young, rich, and with world domination on their minds.  Of course, the analogy probably doesn’t hold all that well, but still, if I may borrow my friend jmscott’s hashtag, it’s #nbaimperialism if there ever was.   I guess that makes the Boston Celtics England or something.  I don’t know. I digress.

Although the super homies, D-Wade, Chris Bosh, and King James have yet to adopt a nickname, I’m inclined to refer to them as Miami Thrice (kind of wack, I know, but you know you want to see those three dressed like Crockett and Tubbs.) or as The Triumvirate.  I don’t know if that makes the Lakers the senatorial elite or something, but Wade especially better watch his back.